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How Healthy Are You? 10 Easy Self-Checks

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Can You Think Fast?

7. Verbal fluency

How easily you can come up with words while writing or talking is a metric of how well you can recall and use information stored in your long-term memory, says Michael Scanlon, a neuroscientist and the chief scientific officer at, a site that offers games to train your brain. To test your fluency, pick one of these three-letter word stems: fin-, win-, cap-, gro-. In 60 seconds, write down as many words as you can that begin with those letters. For example, if you choose fin-, options include financial, finish, final, finicky, and finch.

< 3 = Poor
3 to 9 = Fair
> 10 = Good

Health Rx

Practice as much as you want on paper or at to help improve your performance.

8. Mental acuity

This is a blanket term for attention, focus, planning, memory, and abstract thinking. When mental acuity declines significantly, it may be a sign of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. To put yours to the test, grab a pen and a timer and time yourself as you connect the dots in the game to the right in this way: number, letter, number, letter, tracing from 1 to A to 2 to B to 3 to C and so on.

> 120 seconds = Poor
75 to 120 seconds = Fair
< 75 seconds = Good

Health Rx

Playing brain or word games -- online, on your phone, or on paper -- may help increase your brain speed and flexibility. Scanlon recommends 15 to 20 minutes a day five to six days a week.

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What do you think? Review this story!
veronicavanderwel wrote:

By "waist" don't you mean natural waist??? which is the smaller part around your middle not the larger part of your belly? Because 35 inches for a belly area isn't that big depending on your height┐..???

2/18/2014 10:12:49 PM Report Abuse
guillermoginorio wrote:

It is very good to alert people of his health condition.

10/6/2012 12:45:34 PM Report Abuse
goe1 wrote:

Suggest showing a picture of an earlobe crease & no crease.

7/30/2012 02:34:23 PM Report Abuse
kingsservant11 wrote:

Inspired by the information. However in the "Can You Think Fast" section under the visual acuity test, the letter "M" is missing. The number 13 is there but no "M". Was this a deliberate omission or did someone not realize it was missing before publication?

7/21/2012 12:52:24 PM Report Abuse
gretelpacific1 wrote:

Patrick, I understand where you are coming from, but there is Men's Fitness magazine that specifically focuses on men.

7/19/2012 09:51:02 PM Report Abuse

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